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Research Data Management

Research Data Management

Data Management Planning, how to manage your research throughout your project and beyond

A Data Management Plan [DMP] is a living document that plans for how you will collect, manage, store, use, contextualise and preserve your research data. A DMP will not only help you to ensure General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance, but will also provide clarity around issues, such as ownership of data and help you to recover data after a loss, or even prevent the loss from occurring. Research data is a valuable asset and many funders and publishers require data to be made open or shared, so writing a good data management plan and reviewing it regularly will enable researchers to comply with these requirements.

Planning at an early stage can help you make the right decisions about collecting, storing and sharing your data. Planning can also help you reduce the risk of data loss, inappropriate disclosure and failure to comply with funder open access requirements. You need to consider:

  • what data will be collected (e.g., data type, format, volume)
  • what ethical,legal and commercial restrictions apply to the data, e.g., confidentiality, IPR
  • how metadata and documentation will be generated, kept and disseminated
  • how the data will be stored securely during the lifetime of the project
  • how it will be preserved and shared after the project has ended

See other pages on this guide for information on different research data management topics to help you with your data management planning.

Scroll down on this page to find basic information about data management plans, or use the links below to navigate to guidance for DMPOnline or our data management plan online training, delivered via the researcher development programme.

DMP Online Button DMP Training

Where to Start with Data Management Plans [DMPs]

Data Management Plans are recommended for all projects

The University of Plymouth Research Data Policy asks all researchers to create DMPs for their projects and to deposit the final DMP along with their data, if they are placing it into a repository.

Requirements and support for PGRs

PGRs are required to complete a DMP as part of the RDC.1 approval process.  The plan must be uploaded to GradBook as part of this process.  

In addition to the support on these webpages, the Researcher Development Programme DLE site contains examples of DMPs plus the recorded training session and slides introducing PGRs to RDM

Applying for ethical approval via PEOS?

You will need to attach your completed DMP to your ethical approval application.  (PEOS advice webpages)

Using JISC Online Surveys?

The University will contact users of JISC Online Surveys within 3 months of account set up to request sight of your DMP.  (However, if you have already applied for ethics approval via PEOS and have quoted your project number at the time of requesting access to JISC Online Surveys, then you will not be asked to submit the DMP again).  See the University's JISC Online Surveys advice for more information and exceptions.

Recommended DMP template

We have a subscription to DMPOnline, where you can find our recommended template if you are not funded, the DCC [digital curation centre] template. It includes prompts to guide you through completion, contains up to date funding body required templates and has a bank of public DMPs to view.  See here for our DMPOnline Guidance.

Where can I find examples of completed DMPs?

The Doctoral College's Researcher Development Programme on the DLE  has a few examples for PGR use.  You can also view shared DMPs via the UoP DMP Online tool. Alternatively, the DCC has a list of sample plans on their web pages from different funders, including some 'bad' examples with comments, accessible via the DMP Examples and Guidance link on the left of this page.

DMP Checklist

The DMP Checklist represents the main concerns of the institution in regards to data management planning and costing activities around data management.

It includes links to further information and university services to help ensure that your data management planning covers the main risks to your data and meets the requirements set by the institution's Research Data Policy.

This could be used by reviewers to review a plan or anyone writing a data management plan.

If your DMP is following a funder template, it is imperative that you check and follow their guidance and requirements. Information on different funder requirements can be found on the page Funder Requirements, Ethics & Data Ownership.